Thursday, December 23, 2010

The world out side and the pictures in our heads

The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real condition of life and his relations with his kind.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Books, Letters, Notes, Diaries, Photos, Postcards, Magazines, Paper

“ I am interested in the archive…just not necessarily in its preservation.”

Before the beginning of the investigation into falsified arrests and mistreatment of criminal suspects, the agents of the law had to undergo an investigation themselves. These inquiries were documented in the Mind of the Accuser. This four- volume narrative of the lives of individuals from all parts of the criminal enforcement system represents the first attempt to portray the psychological and emotional lives of men and women during

1. Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Photography After Art Photography, in: Brian Wallis and Marcia Thucker (eds.), Art After Modernism; Rethinking Representation, New York 1984, pp.75-85, p.80: "That photography should figure as a crucial term in postmodernism seems both logical and (at least retrospectively) inevitable. Virtually every critical and theoretical issue with which postmodernist art may be said to engage in one sense or another can be located within photography. Issues to do with authorship, subjectivity, and uniqueness are built into the very nature of the photographic process itself; issues devolving on the simulacrum, the stereotype, and the social and sexual positioning of the viewing are central to the production and functioning of advertising and other mass-media of photography".
2. William J. Mitchell, The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth in the Post-Photographic Era, Cambridge 1994, 3-20.
3. Clare Ansberry, Alterations of Photo Raise Host of Legal, Ethical Issues, in: The Wall Street Journal, January 26, 1989, B1.
4. Cf. L. Hooper, The revolution is them: the shock troops of Digital Hollywood, in: Premiere, january 1996, pp. 95-104.
5. Mitchell, O.C., pp.31-37.

The abuse of the epithet "situationist" and of the meaningless term "situationism" is due to the emphasis given the Debord's analysis of the spectacle; savoir vivre, subversion of everyday life, psychogeography and Unitary Urbanism - in a word, the whole range of immediate and practical kinds of actions the Situationists suggested - were taken in little consideration. Thus "situationist" was doomed to become an uniformative term; cultural reporters then decided to attach it to whatever personage or artistic movement whose expressions were nihilistic enough to be considered "estreme" and spectacular enough to allow for second-class mass-mediology. Thus, the TV schedule of Italia Uno - decided by Carlo Freccero - was "situationist", as well as Striscia la Notizia and TV-truth on Guglielmi's Raitre "situationist" is whatever text written in a schizo-epigrammatic style, and so on. Most of these 'wild labellers' hardly knows The Society of the Spectacle and, taking it as a Talmud of radical critique (although it rather looks like a bunch of clues for crosswords) pretends to be inferring anything from it. "Situationist" has become a passe-partout opening all the doors, from that of a badly-chewed dadaism, to that of an easy-minded technological millenarianism. In a nihilistic world, whatever is real, is "situationist".
After all, wasn't Debord himself the one who changed his reputation in that of a spiteful Cassandra? Wasn't his own attitude to allow his best known essay to be taken as a Talmud? Isn't it true that , two

years ago, in order to explain the fall of so-called 'socialism' in Eastern Europe, he didn't do much more than recycling two laconic theses on bureaucracy, written 1/4 of century earlier and previously enclosed in the above mentioned book? During the last decade of his life, The Bore had endlessly tried to give his dramatis persona a place in the historical context; like the prisoners in Kafka's short story, "In the Penal Colony", he stepped into a machinery carving on his body not only his writings (Considerations sur l'assassinat de Gérard Lebovici, Panegyrique, Commentaires sur la societè du spectacle, Cette mauvaise réputation...) but also the Law. In his case, the Law was the Right Interpretation, against slander and passive contemplation of the historical experience of the SI, and finally against pro-situ misleading information. The ceaseless hypertextual

The strike of the cameramen was felt by some as the last moment when art and commerce could effectively communicate. Both sides of the debate were heard daily in the popular press. Each time an issue was raised which seemed to be the most divisive, leaders from the opposition fought hard to ameliorate the situation

"the difficulty of principle is that there is no unity of occurrence: fixed form, identifiable theme, determinable elements as such. Only anthemes, scattered throughout, gathered up everywhere. If, for example, the machine only selected words or themes, it could draw them all into a net of three, three and a half pages:" (208bi)

The act of transgression involved in such acts as theft, lying or, worse, sheer writing, comes down to the breaking of codes. The unraveling of strands of historical tissue which bind the shared modes of act and feeling to an impulse of willful abandon. Quickly grabbing hold of two or more pieces of paper from the shelf and tucking them into the folds of the worn valise, he left the room in a hurry…

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010